“Now Moses…came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire….Moses saw that …the bush…did not burn up.”
A burning bush in the hot desert was no doubt a common sight, but not this one – the bush was not consumed. It had taken Moses many years of solitude to slow his fast thinking mind to the point that he had time to stop, look, and listen; and from that moment on his life was totally changed. The tragedy of our wilderness experience is not that we have to go through grief and suffering, but that we often miss the blessings of the burning bushes – those things and people through whom God speaks. God still calls us by name and makes His eternal purposes known.
GOD’S REVELATION: Whenever God revealed Himself or “made an appearance”, it was usually in the form of fire.
GOD’S CALL: “God called to him from within the bush” . Qualification for God’s service requires that the person wishing to serve must be “called of God”. God has called every true servant to the particular job.
WE ARE CALLED INTO HIS HOLINESS: “Do not come any closer,” God said…”for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” . Since the ground was not holy by nature (NIV Study Bible), but was made holy by the presence of God; so we, who are not holy by nature, are made holy in His sight by the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and are being made holy by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Therefore we are consecrated to His service and should be separated from all ungodliness.
GOD’S CONFIRMATION OF HIS CALL: “Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.” . God had appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the “God of Promise” or the “God of Covenant”. Now God appears to Moses as the “God of Judgement”.
Fire, as used in scripture, is a symbol of: Divine judgement: . Divine purification: . Divine presence and power: . God was now to become all of these to His people as the divinely appointed period of Law is to be introduced to God’s people.
Moses spent forty years waiting but that waiting was not limited to the passing of time. He was faithful in his service to Jethro and the task that he had, and learned that service to God often means nothing more than doing with all his might that which his hands found to do. Thus to all those wanders in the wilderness, be sure that bushes still burn and God still calls us by name, but the call comes specifically to those who are busy with the small tasks that have been assigned.